The Most Wanted… Computer Trackball Mice of 2017
Based on Amazon’s tracking mechanism, no pun intended, here I delivered to you a list of most wanted… computer trackball mice in the entire universe. According to Amazon users’ POV of the universe, at least.
‘Most wanted’ products do not necessarily mean the best selling ones. This is the case because of the variations of intents of the buyers, some like them cheap, some like them quaint looking, some just let the winds blow them through their credit cards… The take from this is: never trust the hype. Ironic coming from a hype man, I know.
On Amazon’s Most Wished For lists, which this article is based on, the items are compiled via a very simple formula: products that are the most often added to Wishlists and Registries daily. This can sometimes even include great new products on the market that are pre-ordered like crazy from fans slash customers, for example Apple products or in the ergonomic categories, a Herman Miller. This creates a very unique look on the situation of the market itself, through this one can estimate the level of interest for each product and how the tables are turning everyday. The same applies for trackballs.
So why do I choose this to write a review article for? Well, honestly speaking, it’s partially because I’m an Amazon associate, and Amazon is actually my go-to website for online buying, so it’s inevitable I’m going shill one of their convenient little lists. But a large part is actually that I want to expose people to a feature that many may have missed.
Most people take Wishlists for granted, considering it as some kind of bookmark, to remind them to buy later. But it’s more than that. A Wishlist represents an interest, no matter how large or small, and in larger sample sizes it contains some truths of the times. Take sports. In sports such as soccer or hockey (NHL), chances of upsets are higher due to most playoff series consisting of only very few games. So a mistake could cost teams the whole thing. In basketball (NBA) the chances for that are lower. The NBA playoffs are spread out into 7-game series, with each game containing 4 quarters and point totals up to the hundred, allowing for greater amount of mistakes committed. So, logically, the best team with the fewest mistakes will likely win the series, and historically it has been the truth with how many dynasties have been created. This is not a critique on any of the sports named, it’s just the nature of it.
What do all that have in common with trackballs besides having a ball involved one way or another? Well, first, you need to understand what a trackball is.
A trackball is a computer cursor control device used in many notebook and laptop computers. It is usually located in front of the keyboard toward the user. Essentially, the trackball is an upside-down mouse that rotates in place within a socket, with the additions of two usual buttons seen in that of a normal computer mouse. It’s not a new thing, it’s been around for a while, enough to get into people’s pockets and wishlists. However, like most ergonomic products, the buying and selling and manufacturing of such things are still contained in a relatively niche market. Many people who buy ergonomic products actually can only rely on customers before them and reviews here and there, but they can’t rely on hearsays and eye tests or the popularity of a brand, due to how narrowly targeted the overall interests are.
This is when a wishlist is necessary. In a niche market you don’t have many things to go from aside from social influencers such as myself and other customers. A Wishlist expands that same sample size and offers a greater outlook to the scene, and from it, even though customers still follow the money, they have a chance to make the most sensible orders.
In this article, I give you short reviews of the strengths of weaknesses of the 10 most wanted… computer trackball mice. It’s compiled after weeks of me camping out at the Amazon’s daily updated wishlist for the category in order to be able to make out an overall ranking. As was said, it’s a niche market, so not many fluctuations.
- Enforcing natural wrist posture as the mouse was designed for more comforable thumb usage
- Relatively cheap
- Removable trackball – allows for more flexibility or easier maintenance
- Long range wireless
- Long battery life: Up to 18 months
- Extremely responsive
- Can be used on most surfaces
- Slick, trendy contemporary look
- Herky jerky, not too smooth
- Too sensitive and responsive at times
- Picks up dust due to loose removeable trackball and design
- Not a good fit for people with larger hands or big thumbs
- Wireless connectivity can be inconsistent after long usage
- Large, heavy trackball can be a useful fit and allows more fluid movements
- Flexible with 4 buttons around the trackball
- Wireless connection via Bluetooth 4.0 LE or USB Nano receiver
- Detachable wrist rest supports hand and wrist
- Ambidextrous design
- Auto sleep helps with conserving battery life
- Solid build, made to last
- Futuristic looking
- Faulty scroll ring, at times unresponsive with high usage
- Higher price relatively
- Trackball can be too big for some
- Button positions can be uncomfortable
- Loud in operation
- Advanced 6 degrees optical sensor
- Simultaneously pan, zoom and rotate
- 2 programmable function keys
- Solid and heavy with rubberized base
- Responsive and adjustable sensitivity
- Especially great for CAD softwares
- Not fully compatible with many devices it works with
- Can be a bit heavy
- Customizable 2-button design
- USB connectivity
- Smooth control
- Relatively cheap
- At good size, can fit with large or small hands
- Very responsive
- Silent in operation
- Scroll ring allows for more adjustability
- Small and lightweight, can fit small desks
- Scroll ring can be stiff
- Although ambidextrous, it might become uncomfortable a bit for dominant handed users
- Button positions can be a bit inconvenient
- Questionable stability in regards to the function buttons
- Is not as ergonomically focused as others
- Comfortable, ergonomic thumb mouse design
- 6-unique thumb and finger buttons for web surfing, playing MMOs or fast-twitch shooting
- Adjustable resolution
- Bumps on the wheel offer traction
- Plug-and-play adjustable trackball
- Button spacing a bit tight
- Questionable longevity
- Can be a bit stiff with higher usage
- Setup can be difficult especially with finding compatible softwares
- Not precise enough for tasks that require precision or gaming
Other trackballs on the Most Wished List include various models of Kensington, ELECOM types with similarities to its predecessors and successors, and main differences being the overall fixed designs.
All and all most trackballs, even great ones, in my opinion can be inferior in longevity compared to normal mice but they instead offer a much wider range of usages and functions. Most designs can be hard to get used to at first but only occur if it’s really ergonomically potent - meaning designed with the main task of correcting your posture in mind. I’d recommend choosing wisely which trackball is the best for you and if you favor longevity over precision etc. As it stands, not every trackball is perfect, even the most sought after ones.